Laura said:But perhaps "awkwardness," or "twistedness" is what Leonardo intended to convey about St. Peter?
One of the hands that must belong to him is found making a “cutting motion” at the throat of the woman seated next to Jesus.
"You must show a man in despair with a knife..." and, if we suppose that the bread, the Eucharist, is to represent "the body of Christ," then the action of the knife over the bread might very well be Envy making a "contemptuous motion of the hand towards heaven." Put that together with the head cutting motion and the whispering in the ear: conspiring, and a rather unpleasant picture of St. Peter emerges. It seems that Peter is hiding his actions behind Judas.
I found this in Stevan Davies' "Gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom":With the hands of the woman in The Last Supper clasped together as though "bound," and the cutting motion being made by St. Peter, concealing his knife, we certainly can see a relationship here.
and:Davies said:The [Mary Magdalene] saying appears to be part of an ongoing argument between what came to be orthodox and what came to be gnostic forms of Christianity. Each side was symbolized by named disciples. Peter's right to special power was emphasized by some of the orthodox form's texts [like Matthew], others emphasized the role of a "beloved Disciple" [John] and still others, always the more gnostic variety, emphasized the importance of Mary Magdalene.
Peter is portrayed in these 'gnostic' gospels (even though Thomas can't really be considered Gnostic, in the 2nd century Valentinian sense of the term) as wanting Mary excluded. Jesus, however, praises her understanding, saying she has the potential to become 'more male,' [i.e. less passive and unquestioning; sexist language, I know] just as the males need to become 'more male' through their own work.In light of the first century Platonic vocabulary, saying 114 affirms Mary's potential, and the potential of all women, to belong within Jesus' immediate group of successful followers. Peter disagrees, as he also does in a later text entitled The Gospel of Mary. In that second century text Mary reveals what Jesus has secretly taught her, only to be rudely dismissed by Peter's brother, Andrew. [Mary relates what Jesus told her, and Peter then accuses her of lying.]
I'm not sure how it all fits together (i.e. if Peter was a cointelpro individual, or a collective group of 'false saviour christianities, or something more esoteric...), or where Judas fits in, but I just though I'd share.